Only about one-fourth of children participating in organized sports-such as baseball, softball or soccer-receive the government-recommended amount of physical activity during team practices, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the April 2011 print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.



National guidelines recommend that children and teens perform 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, but fewer than half of children and 10 percent of teens meet these guidelines, according to background information in the article. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends youth sports as a means of obtaining physical activity as well as social benefits," the authors write, and an estimated 44 million American youth participate in an organized sports program. "Although intensity values in the moderate to vigorous range are obtained while playing common youth sports, it is not clear how much physical activity is provided by youth sports practices, as much of the time may be inactive, such as receiving verbal instruction and waiting for turns."



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